"The people that are protecting those groves have armed themselves with firearms."
Chief Jerry Dyer asked the council to extend a temporary 45 day moratorium on outdoor growing. The council passed the ban on December 15th. The extension would last for more than ten months. The Chiefs request had support of the city's neighborhood watch leader.
Rosalyn Clark told the council: "We do view the cultivation of marijuana as a potential for crime in our neighborhoods."
Dyer says the big problem is the increasing value of marijuana s turned what is supposed to be medical marijuana for personal growing into a big business.
Chief Dyer said, "What we have found is those individuals who have set up outdoor marijuana grows have done if for the purpose of making profit and that profit is substantial."
Fresno Police say a pound of pot can be grown and processed in Fresno for about $75 and sold on the East Cost for $5 thousand.
The Council approved extending the outdoor growing ban, which puts the city in line with County regulations. While the temporary ban will be in effect for ten months Dyer expects to have a permanent ordinance ready for council consideration in April.
Fresno Police say there have been at least five shootings and one homicide as the result of outdoor growing operations within the city limits. Police say many big marijuana growing operations have already moved indoors.